Illya saw the moment Solo’s drink was spiked.
The man Solo was supposed to seduce was their entrance to the drug cartel which in turn would lead them to the illegal weapons market TRUSH was financing. Solo had no problem in using his body and his charisma to get the information. Illya, as usual in this kind of situations, was the back up and was positioned on the other side of the bar, watching every move Solo or the man did. Both were used to working like this.
The thing is, the man was in fact just acting on the same M.O. Illya would expect from someone that just takes whatever he wants from whoever he wants. Ironically, the man actually had not realized Solo was just playing him. The moment Solo turned his back to ask something to the bartender, the man slipped something into his drink. Illya did not know what the something was, but it was exactly for occasions like this that there was back up.
Illya got up and was rapidly making his way to the bar to extract Solo when he saw his partner take a sip of the drink. Cursing, he quickened the pace. Solo’s eyes widened when he saw Illya coming in his direction, but did nothing else. In fact, he turned back to the man he was supposed to seduce and continued the conversation. Illya stopped the rushed pace and got closer to the two men pretending to be just another person wanting to get closer to the bartender to ask for a drink.
Illya realized the minute Solo got the information he needed because Solo’s behavior changed. He was still grinning to the man, but now he was stepping back. The man, however, snatched a hand grabbed Solo back and Illya could hear him whispering all the things the man wanted to do to Solo. The glass in Illya’s hand cracked. Solo, again tried to leave and again the man did not let him. And that’s when Solo completely abandoned the seducer persona and brought back the spy.
“You either let me go now or you lose your hand. Your choice” Solo said and tripped into nothing.
“Oh, those are very brave words for someone that is about to do whatever I want them to do” said the man, eyes glinting with wanton.
Illya got closer.
“ Oh, please, as if I had not noticed you put something to my drink.” Solo said in a firm voice that contrasted with the way his eyes were blinking. “I’m really not talking about me doing any damage” Solo continued still trying to get free. “I’m talking about my lovely friend, the Red Peril right behind you.”
And that is when Illya threw his first punch on the night, right across the man’s face. Solo stood there watching while the man fell.
Illya turned back to Solo.
“You ok, there, Cowboy?”
Solo blinked and got closer to Illya, who immediately steadied his partner.
“This might come as a surprise, but I was drugged.” Solo said. His voice was slurred. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I might say something you do not like” and gave Illya his most charming smile.
Illya turned both him and Solo to the exit and stared walking, dragging Solo with him. Solo’s smile was still in place and he did not make any smart remark about being led.
“Solo?” Illya started as soon as they were outside the bar “What did they put in your drink?”
Solo, still with the charming smile in place said:
“I imagine it was some kind of aphrodisiac of hallucinogen or a combination of both.”
Illya started walking faster to the small car he had parked two streets below.
“And why do you say that?” Illya asked opening the car’s door and leading Solo inside.
Solo turned to him, eyes blinking mischievously “Because right now I’m seeing you all in golden and let me tell you, you are looking very dashing”
Illya turned the car around and thought hysterically that the last thing he needed was a drugged Solo.
“What is the matter with you, Cowboy?!?” Illya asked frustrated “ You knew the man would drug you and you still let him!”
Solo, rolled his eyes and got very close to Illya, who was trying to drive. He started counting the miles to the hotel.
“Because, my dear Peril, we needed the information and I knew you were close by” Solo promptly kissed Illya in the cheek “When you are around, I do not fear anything”
Illya closed his eyes and kept counting.
“I think you need to stop talking right now, Napoleon” Illya said in a gentle voice and pushed Solo away.
Solo looked at Illya dejected. He looked down and shock his head.
“Why? You think I’m not serious?”
And finally, they arrived at their hotel. Illya got out of the car and opened Solo’s door, dragging him out. Solo went willingly, his eyes never leaving Illya and the god damned smile was still in place and very much disarming. Illya tried averting his eyes. He really did not need Solo looking at him as with he hung the moon. Not if it was just caused by a drug.
He pushed Solo towards the stairs and into his room, not even paying attention to the reception desk. Once inside, Solo made a direct line to his bed, sat on it and looked back to Illya.
“Will you make me company?” he asked.
Illya, still at the entrance, closed the door and headed to the phone.
“I need to call Waverly. We need to figure out what was in that drug.”
Solo let himself fall backwards on the bed. Looking at the ceiling, he said:
“I know what was on it, Peril. It is a very common drug. People use it all the time to tame the unwilling. I’m familiar with it”
And Illya again saw red. Very slowly, he put the phone back down.
“Napoleon” Illya took a very big breath “Please stop talking. I don’t think this is something you would want me to know.”
Solo came back up and looked at Illya. The piercing blue eyes did not falter.
“The drug does not make me say what I don’t want. But it does bring my inhibitions down.” He then closed his eyes and went back to smiling “In any case, this is getting boring. I’ll ask again: will you make me company?” and petted the spot on the bed next to him.
Illya turned his back to Solo and went back to calling Waverly. In any case, Waverly would need to know that Solo was compromised. Illya cursed the kind of life Solo had that would make him think it is okay to let himself be drugged to get some information. Solo always had a kind of carefree attitude towards his own life, but this kind of behavior was much further than even Illya imagined.
Illya heard Solo get up from the bed and start walking towards him. Thankfully, Waverly picked the phone at that same moment. Solo stopped as soon as he heard Illya talking to him.
It was a brief conversation, with Illya reporting Solo had been drugged and reporting what kind of drug Solo seemed to think it was.
“Tell him I did not drink a lot of it. And from my experience, with the amount I drank, I should be fine in the morning” Solo said helpfully from very close to Illya.
“Please, make sure he is okay tomorrow morning, then” Waverly replied right back from the phone. Apparently, he had heard Solo just fine.
“Sir-” Illya started.
“Illya, Solo is familiar with the drug and he is enough of a professional to not lie to me or you about something like this. Let him sleep it off and in the morning we will deal with TRUSH.” Waverly said with a decided tone.
Illya took a deep breath.
“He is telling me things he would not normally say.” Illya said in a whisper “I should not have known about his history with it. He would not have wanted that.”
“Then don’t let him talk about it.” Waverly replied “And Illya, Solo trusts you. Whatever he says to you in this state, at least he will know you will not use it against him.”
Solo stepped in front of Illya, took the phone from his hands and put on his own ear.
“Hello, sir. Yes, sir. I know, sir. Bye, sir” and Solo hang up.
Illya stood there, looking at his partner with the same exasperation that was usual for the ones dealing with Napoleon Solo.
“He is right, you know” Solo said “I trust you and I know you would never use anything I do or say today against me” and kissed Illya.
Illya immediately took a step back.
“Solo, don’t do it.”
Solo shock his head, again with the dejected expression he wore in the car. He looked down, sighed and looked back up to Illya.
“Why not? This is the perfect opportunity.” Solo said and from the first time since being drugged, his smile did not reach his eyes.
“What opportunity?” Illya asked, taking another step back.
Solo kept watching him.
“You are so very much adorable, Peril. Why are you like this?”
“Ah-” and that was Illya intelligent response. Deciding enough was enough, Illya, took Solo by the arm and got him back into the bed. “As you said yourself, the drug should be out of your system tomorrow. Try to sleep, Solo.”
“Only if you stay with me” Solo immediately replied back.
Illya took an executive decision.
“Ok. A compromise.” Illya said heading to the armchair at the bedroom “You go to sleep and I’ll stay here, watching you. How does that sound?”
“Ok. I can compromise." He said and got under the covers "I love and hate that when it comes to me you always compromise” Solo said while he was arranging the covers over himself “Do not let me do that to you, Peril. You deserve so much more that me.”
“You deserve everything.” Solo promptly answered “You deserve everything that is good. You deserve so much more than me and this partnership.” he closed his eyes, his voice getting softer and softer “It was not a surprise you actually rejected my kiss. I wouldn’t want to stay with me, too. My charming personality only works on those that do not know how damaged I am”
Illya jumped from the armchair and got closer to Solo. Solo opened his very blue eyes and looked right back at Illya.
“Napoleon, listen to me very carefully” Illya said slowly “You are amazing. I admire you a lot. You are the best partner I have ever had.”
Solo smiled his broken smile.
“But you do not love me”
Illya spent the night watching Solo sleep. Solo’s last words would not let him get any rest. Finally, he called Gaby.
Gaby, who was amazing and very intelligent, listened to Illya recount how Solo let himself be drugged and how Solo knew what would happen and how dejected Solo was at the end. And then, he told her the thought Solo might love him.
Gaby, who was also very practical and had already seen the way Illya and Solo looked at each other, took a deep breath.
“You know I love you both, right, Illya?”
“I know, Gaby” Illya replied smiling into the phone.
“Great, so listen to me very carefully, Illya. Napoleon might have been drugged, but he is very cunning. He took a gamble and from what you told me, he thinks he might have burned himself.” Gaby explained.
“He would have never told you the things he did if he was not drugged, am I correct?”
“Well, then, It seems to me that Solo was drugged, but he was still pretty much in control of himself. He wanted to tell you those things. And right now, what I can gather is that he tried to confess his feelings for you, figured it wouldn’t make any difference because Solo does not think much of himself and now thinks you do not return his feelings.” Gaby summarized. “Talk to him when he wakes up and clear the misunderstanding”
And so Illya waited for Solo to wake up
When Solo woke up, Illya was ready; he knew what he wanted to say and he knew how to say it. And everything went out of the window because Solo opened his eyes, took a look at Illya and closed them right back.
“You can go back to your room, Peril. I was joking when I asked you to stay” Solo said behind closed eyes and an closed off expression “But thank you anyway.”
“Napoleon, look at me”
Solo shock his head slowly.
“I don’t think I will, Illya. I’m feeling pretty ok now. Just go.”
Illya got up from the armchair and sat beside Solo at the bed. Solo opened his eyes and looked at him.
“I think we need to clear a misunderstanding” Illya said. He could still follow his script. He had rehearsed everything he need to say.
Solo, again, interrupted him.
“I’m really sorry about trying to kiss you. I’m also sorry you had to take care of me in that state. Are we done?” Solo said with a very clear voice and looking everywhere aside from Illya.
“No, we are not.” Illya replied softly.
He might as well have shouted it from the way Solo flinched.
“I’m really, sorry, Illya. None of that will happen again. And I completely understand if you need to take some time before working back with me.” Solo looked at Illya and gave his broken smile. Illya did not like that he was becoming very familiar with the expression “In fact, if you do not want to work with me ever again, I also would understand.”
Illya closed his eyes and counted to ten.
“Why are you so intent on making me leave? At least let me finish talking.”
Solo sat up.
“Because, really, I think you and I made ourselves pretty clear last night. I made a fool of myself and you, as usual, took my insanity in stride. And I know that it can get exhausting dealing with me every day. Yesterday, with me drugged, was just the cherry on top.”
“I think you talk too much, cowboy” Illya said losing his patience. Dealing with Solo can do that to people. “I also think you are so full of it.”
Solo closed his month and stared at Illya.
“I also think that you are adorable.” Illya said with a smile that made Solo’s eyes widen “And that you are an amazing partner and very cunning.”
Solo closed his eyes.
“I do not know what you are talking about.” Solo said.
Illya, who finally could go on with his speech, grinned at him.
“I think you took a chance last night. As usual, you were two steps ahead of me and decided to play the game by yourself.” Illya started “The thing is, in this game of yours, you need a partner that knows the rules. Otherwise, you get half a picture.”
“Again, Peril, I have no idea what you are talking about”
And that was it. That was the gambit Solo started last night and that he could still hide behind the drugged drink. Illya did not have this excuse. Here goes nothing and everything, Illya thought.
“I did not get in bed with you last night because you were impaired. I stopped the kiss because you were not 100% sober.” Illya explained while Solo kept looking at him “Well, now, we are both clear.” Illya got very close to Solo and gave him a soft kiss on Solo’s open lips “I always want you.” Another kiss “You are so worthy; you deserve the world” another kiss “And yes, I love you.”